Farmers and producers

PM puts faith in free trade deals

(17 July/Rural News) At the recent Federated Farmers conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Arden spoke of how New Zealand is entering a period of economic change. Ardern commented that it appears that the primary sector is being faced with all its long term challenges at one time. The Prime Minister also reported that the priority of...

Spy in the sky promises no stock upset

(16 July/Rural news) As fly-overs of farms are occurring to crack down on poor winter grazing practices, farmers are concerned that planes will be flown low by activists to scope the areas. Farmers have been reassured that no Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rules will be breached during flyovers. Waikato businessman Angus Robson, one of the...

B+LNZ looking into impact of land conversion

[2 July/Rural Life] Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) have expressed concerns about the potential impacts on communities of wholesale conversions of regions into forestry. In an update to farmers, BLNZ chairman Andrew Morrison said the organisation was working to get a better understanding of exactly what was happening, why it might be happening, quantifying...

NZ farmer confidence continues gradual climb – farmers and producers

[27 June/Rabobank] Improved sentiment across sheep, beef and horticulture producers has seen New Zealand farmer confidence lift for the second quarter in a row, the latest Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey has found. While farmer sentiment continued, the gradual climb begun at the start of the year following three previous consecutive quarters of decline. Net farmer...

New Zealand’s agricultural future is bright if farmers can adapt

[30 June/Stuff] The outlook for the future of the farming sector is bright, so long as farmers can adjust to the changing nature of the industry. ASB Rural Banking general manager Richard Hegan reported the skyrocketing global food demands were the reason for the optimism in New Zealand’s primary sector.  At the Rural Contractors New Zealand...

Horizons Regional Council takes step towards change to OnePlan

[26 June/The Country] Councillors have been told that a change to Horizons Regional Council’s One Plan could lead to a lack of fresh vegetables. For two years the council has been considering how to change its One Plan rules on consent for intensive farming which is defined as dairy, cropping, horticulture and irrigated sheep and...

Whanganui gun owners, farmers react to weapons buyback scheme

[25 June/The Country] Customers are telling a Whanganui store owner they will not be handing their semi-automatic guns over in Government’s buyback scheme. The scheme aims to compensate people giving up more than 300 types of gun and gun parts banned after the 15 March mosque shootings in Christchurch. The owners have an amnesty on...

Spike in rural burglaries as quad bikes, fuel and tools targeted

[24 June/Stuff NZ] Quad bikes, fuel and tools are being pilfered from central Taranaki farms as police deal with a spike in rural burglaries particularly around Stratford. This included properties along State Highway 43/The Forgotten World Highway and in Eltham and Kaponga. Detective Sergeant Chris Allemann believes that the burglaries were preventable with most of...

Emma Boase appointed Hawke’s Bay horticultural regional career co-ordinator

[20 June/The Country] Emma Boase has been appointed as a Regional Career Co-ordinator in Hawke’s Bay, one of five chosen throughout the country in a $1.1 million Provincial Growth Fund investment. Emma Boase is working with New Zealand Apples & Pears Incorporated (NZAPI) and Massey University to connect horticultural students with local exporters and growers...

Farmers enjoying good returns but facing uncertainty, bank analyst says

[19 June/Stuff NZ] Government policy and intervention is leading to pessimism in the farming industry, according to Rabobank Sustainability Analyst Blake Holgate. Mr Holgate told farmers at meetings in Gore and Invercargill on Tuesday that concerns about emissions, animal welfare and the environment were all impacting the industry now and would continue to do so...

Farmers and growers ‘should be proud’ of progress made over past decade

[18 June/NZ Herald] A long-term erosion of confidence in the primary sector needs to be reversed, says KPMG global head of agri-business Ian Proudfoot. Proudfoot’s comments were made last week when launching the 2019 KPMG Agribusiness Agenda at Fieldays 2019. Mr Proudfoot commented that confidence was low in the sector, despite the progress the industry...

Debt distressed farmers to go to mediation before hitting the wall

[17 June/Stuff NZ] Farmers who are down on their financial luck will be able to go to mediation before being forced into receivership by banks. A Farm Debt Mediation Bill is soon to be introduced into Parliament which will require creditors to offer mediation to farmers who default on payments before they take any enforcement...

Mental health, employment and environment among farmers’ top concerns

[13 June/Stuff NZ] Improving mental health was one topic surveyed at this year’s Fieldays, with climate change, the environment and employment among the top concerns. Farmers surveyed shared their top concerns, and stated that there needs to be not only recognition of the seriousness of mental health in rural communities, but also more support, with...

Kiwi’s quinoa dream now a reality

[12 June/Farmers Weekly] Dan and Jacqui Cottrell have been growing super food quinoa on their family farm in Taihape after discovering it on an overseas trip to Peru. 80 Percent of the world’s global supply of quinoa comes from Peru. The process has not been an easy one and has involved deciding which variety of...

Shane Jones: Farmers need townies

[11 June/The Country] Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones reported at the Federated Farmers’ Northland AGM about how farmers need to win over urban votes in order to maintain their influence on policy as he spoke to an audience who were feeling under threat from climate change and forestry policies. Hon. Jones spoke of how...

Grass-fed message won’t sell NZ products but health benefits could

[08 June/Stuff NZ] Andy Elliot, Nuffield Scholar reports that exporters should be focusing on marketing their products based on their nutritional benefits, rather than New Zealand’s ‘’clean, green, grass-fed’’ message that is not unique. Mr Elliot spent much of last year studying New Zealand business models and his findings come out of the fact that...

Funds for more frequent inspections of Crown pastoral lease land

[06 June/Stuff NZ] Extra Budget funding will allow more frequent inspections of the Crown’s South Island pastoral lease land, however a tenure review specialist has stated that this should already be done using 21st century technology such as satellite data. The funding will let Land Information New Zealand (Linz) improve how it monitors and enforces...

$413m Canterbury seed deal cleared, Danes to bring new screening tech to NZ

[05 June/The Country] Clearance has been given for the sale of $413 million worth of assets to Danish company DLF Seeds, which also includes rural land in Canterbury. The deal would see the introduction of genomic screening technology into New Zealand. This technology will allow the company to screen grasses based on their genetic potential...

Huge job boost for Dannevirke as Alliance upgrades plant

[04 June/The Country] Alliance Group has announced a further $1.4 million investment in their Dannevirke plant as well as the creation of an additional 35 jobs which has been seen as a big boost to the town. This news comes after 30 RCR Energy employees in Dannevirke were told in March that they were to...

Fonterra delays compliance date

[30 May/Farmers Weekly] More than 2000 Fonterra farmers have been offered a four-month extension to comply with their 2019-20 shareholding requirements. The reasons for this extension include significant financial pressure on farmer’s balance sheets due to Fonterra’s lower share value of around $4.20 and the impact of stringent lending criteria for farmers by banks. Farmers...

Oceania trials free commuter bus service for South Canterbury dairy plant workers

[28 May/The Country] More than 70 workers at Oceania Dairy’s South Canterbury dairy plant have been using a free bus service commuting between Timaru and Oamaru provided to their workers. The initiative started this month on a trial basis and to date has run without a hitch according to the company. Oceania’s milk tanker provider...

New gun control group pushes for national register

[28 May/The Country] A new lobby group, Gun Control NZ is pushing for a national register of all guns in New Zealand, strengthening the ban on semi-automatic weapons, and requiring gun owners to renew their registration every three years instead of 10. The group is co-founded by volunteers Hera Cook, an Otago University public health...

Farmers hang on for better days

[24 May/Farmers Weekly] Dairy farmers are not happy with Fonterra Co-operative Group setting this year’s milk price at the bottom end of its predicted range but are happy enough with next year’s wide range. They are also showing concern over the co-op’s change of direction due to the lack of detail and its failure to...

English: Farmers need to embrace technology

[24 May/Stuff NZ] Conor English, Founder of Agribusiness New Zealand was the keynote speaker at the Southern Primary Sector Update conference, hosted by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand in Invercargill this week. Around 80 rural accountants and business advisors were in attendance. Mr English reported that opportunities in the changing farm environment need to...